What’s Up With Facilities?

Apr 30, 2021 | Beacon, News

Greetings to East Shore’s members and friends! It’s been a long time. We in the Facilities Department— Celil, Joseph and Dianne—have been working hard while awaiting your return to campus.

Working on the big empty campus has given us an excellent opportunity to look around and take stock of what needs to be repaired, replaced, or discarded. Celil and Joseph started off last year with a thorough cleaning and buffing of the floors in the Sanctuary and foyer. That sort of project rarely occurs because it takes many days of teamwork to remove all the items, clean and let the floors dry, then buff them to add some shine. In addition, the refrigerators, ovens, and stovetops have been purged of old contents, scrubbed, and are now shinier and better smelling.

East Shore’s regular maintenance companies have been onsite to assess the elevator, HVAC units, and fire safety equipment. Unfortunately, one of our gas furnaces had to be replaced after 20 years, and we are keeping a close eye on an additional eight of the same units, because they are close to the end of their lives. Keep your fingers crossed they hold out for another year or two. We are prepared for the yearly inspection of our water heaters this month as well. Bids have been collected to have our roofs and gutters cleaned, de-mossed, and inspected, and this work will be completed by the middle of May.

Celil has been busy replacing all the fluorescent bulbs (250 in all!) on campus with energy-efficient LEDs. Can’t wait to see the difference this will make in our electric bills! Joseph has been researching and purchasing paint and other necessary supplies in preparation of painting the classrooms in the education building, and he and Celil have already started on the first room. Since there are only two staff members working on the project, we are not sure how many rooms they can cover in the next two months. The goal is, of course, as many as are possible before our summer facilities rentals (STEM and special needs camp/classes) make their entrance.

My personal favorite project of the summer is the Big Clean-up. For the first time since I can recall, all of our storage areas, cupboards, shelves, and closets have been emptied out so that the contents can be reviewed and evaluated. You wouldn’t believe what we’ve found in all the nooks and crannies of the campus! The staff members and some of our ministry teams have noted what to keep and what to re-home or purge. We are delighted to have these areas decluttered and spiffed up so that we can be intentional about what is stored in the future. Breathing space is wonderful. In fact, we were able to transition the room outside the North Room that was a storage area into a great space for ministry teams to store their items for the tables on Sunday. Now the baskets and tri-folds are located together!

When you are back on campus, you will likely notice  something is missing in our “backyard.” The aging playground equipment is in the process of being torn down and will be removed from campus before your return. The wood decay, rusted bolts, and splinters were determined to make it a safety and liability risk. I thank David Kappler and Leroy Smith for their efforts in doing the disassembly work. We are grateful they were willing to take on the project. You may also notice Celil has installed a nifty lockbox next to the side door of the administration building. It will come in handy if you need to leave or pick up something when the campus is closed. The staff has already benefitted by having our Girl Scout cookies delivered there. Last but not least, you will FINALLY be able to use our 2019 Fund-A-Need auction item, the automatic doors! They are installed and ready to go upon your return.

We were sad our long-time boss, Executive Director Jason Puracal, moved on to new opportunities early this year. While he is missed terribly, we hit the jackpot with our new leader, Director of Finance and Operations, Rebecca Chatfield. She is brilliant, talented, and wonderfully collaborative.

You’ve probably figured out by now that facilities work may not always seem like the most glamourous and is mostly carried on behind the scenes. However, we enjoy the camaraderie and teamwork within our department, are proud of our hard work, and appreciate the opportunity to take good care of our beautiful campus. See you soon-ish!

by Dianne Upton, Facilities Manager